What Are Some Good Foods to Eat If You Have Gout?

Johner Images/Getty Images

A well-balanced, healthy eating plan that is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein is advised for patients suffering from gout, according to Mayo Clinic. Staying hydrated with plenty of water is key for reducing attacks.

Gout patients should generally avoid foods that contain moderate-to-high levels of purine, which is processed as uric acid in the body, according to Mayo Clinic. Too much uric acid in the bloodstream causes the formation of crystals around joints, leading to gout pain. Not all high-purine foods make the condition worse, however, and some vegetables that are high in purine, such as spinach, asparagus, cauliflower, peas and mushrooms, are safe for gout patients. Beans and lentils are also okay to eat and are high in protein.

Nuts, such as walnuts, and root vegetables, such as carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes, are low in purine, according to Health. Fruits that contain malic acid, such as apples, cranberries and grapes, and foods with vitamin C, such as oranges and potatoes, are good choices for reducing uric acid. Although most meats should be avoided, chicken and duck are lower in purine than turkey, red meat or pork. Additionally, low-fat dairy is a good source of protein that may decrease the risk of gout.

Gout is caused by a buildup of uric acid around the bones and joints, resulting in painful joints that feel tender, arthritic and warm. Without treatment, gout can lead to other medical conditions such as kidney stones and heart disease, explains the Arthritis Foundation. Although gout is usually linked to a diet high in purines, eating a healthy low-purines diet is not a cure for the condition, says Mayo Clinic. Taking medications for gout along with a well-rounded diet decrease gout attacks and symptoms, and having a goal to maintain a healthy weight is also beneficial.